BEST OF 2016

MAGNET’s #5 Album Of 2016: GOAT’s “Requiem”


GOAT has been trying to convince us that the tiny hamlet from which it hails is home to an ages-old curse placed by a traveling witch doctor who introduced small-town Sweden to voodoo and the joys of commune living, with the associated sounds of such being passed down through generations and appearing on each of the band’s three albums. As improbable as this story is, on Requiem, the sonic aesthetic is more communal and rural than what you’d expect from a band with a few years of studio and road work under its belt. The mood feels like a loose, campfire jam during which random participants add layers using whatever’s on hand and mind. The result is an inexact yet absorbing and entrancing, work. The waves of tribal drums, fluttering flutes, percussion and electric instruments has the collective taking its world-music experiment a step toward Woodstock with the melodies on “All-Seeing Eye” and “I Sing In Silence” being as powerful as they are hypnotic and the portal to a cedar-scented, space-age hippie ritual. And if there really was a witch doctor who bestowed the gift of cultlike sound upon GOAT, he’s likely looking down from a wispy, purple-hazed cloud with a toothy grin.

—Kevin Stewart-Panko